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Lake Lillinonah Interview

Eric Lehmann Wins Lake Lillinonah!

The club continued it's 2003 tournament season with an event on Lake Lillinonah on May 31st. Both largemouth and smallmouth could be found on spawing beds but the overcast day that threaten rain made for difficult sight fishing. With the bass agressive, many expected numerous limits and the challenge for the 32 anglers would be to find larger fish. The past two winners of events on Lake Lillinonah battled it out this time around, placing in first and second places.

Eric Lehmann's last club victory came on Lillinonah in May of 2001 and he waited until the end of the weigh-in to reveal his big limit of 12 pounds 11 ounces. Eric started quickly fishing near the ramp and limited in the early hours of the tournament. He moved south towards the dam and utilized the rest of the day to cull out his smaller fish, replacing them with smallies in the 3 pound class. Eric's main bait was a watermelon Kinami. He also caught fish on a buzzbait. With the win here, Eric moves into first place overall after two events and has him challenging for his third Angler of the year title.

Pat VanWettering was pretty confident that he had enough weight to repeat his victory from last season on Lillinonah and he was almost right. Pat caught fish all day and culled his way up to a nice limit of smallmouth weighing in at 12 pounds 6 ounces. While Pat did duplicate his winning pattern from last year catching numerous fish on a white spinnerbait, it was a differnt technique that boater many of his larger fish. Slowing working a Zara Spook ver the spawing beds was driving the fish crazy and Pat claims that the bass were just slamming the topwater lure.

Placing third was Jason Mordhorst with a limit weighing in at 11 pounds 1 ounce. Jason's limit included 1 largemouth and 4 smallmouth. He also caught fish throughout the day and fished a Pop-R over the beds to bag his limit.

Finishing fourth was non-boater, Andy Karcich. His five bass limit weighed 10 pounds 15 ounces and consisted of five largemouth. He fished within sight of the Steel Bridge for the majority of the day and used a variety of techniques to catch his fish including topwaters and soft plastics.

Rounding out the top five was the Twin Lakes winner, Bill Vella. Bill's limit weighed in at 10 pounds 10 ounces. Although difficult because of the overcast condition, Bill's pattern was sight fishing spawning beds in 4-6' of water with Senkos in the southern part of the lake. Locating his bedding areas in practice on Friday, he was able to catch fish throughout most of the day. Bill't top five finish has his just 1 point behind Eric in his attempt to capture his first Angler of the Year title.

The lunker of event was record breaking. For the second consecutive tournament, the six pound lunker pool was broken with a record shattering fish! The pool can be broken with either a six pound largemouth or a five pound smallmouth. Bill Vella's 6 pound 14 ounce largmeouth at Twin lakes was the first to break the pool in a few years. At Lillinonah, amazingly at back-to-back events, the pool was broken with the the club's first ever 5 pound smallmouth. Club rookie, John (Woody) Glaser, fishing only his second club event caught the huge 5 pound, 4 ounce smallmouth early in the Lillinonah event. The fish not only broke the six pound pool, but also was the big fish for the tournament.

It was a very successful day for the 32 club anglers as 15 limits were weighed in for a total of 121 bass and 217 pounds 14 ounces.

The top observer in the event was John Giordano with his 3 pound 8 ounce largemouth.

All contents created 2002 by Mark B. Scocco.